Democratic Debate Battle Royale

I hope you got a chance to watch the democratic debate on CNN tonight. It was quite the debate. It was even better than the republican debate! (I’m a conservative libertarian) The candidates gave it their all and really battle over the issues. Despite the fact that they agreed on the goals of the policy, the fight become over the means. Each candidate got fairly decent air time with exception of Jim Webb who seem to struggle to get any talk time. Of course, the focus was mostly on Sanders and Clinton. The other candidates Webb, O’Malley and Chaffe gave some good cannon fodder but in the end all trail Sanders and Clinton significantly. So I want to breakdown my reaction to each candidates performance. I will quickly go over the three 1 percenters (In the polls). Then I will go into some more detail with Clinton and Sanders who both seem to give strong performances.

The worst performance goes to Jim Webb. Mr. Webb just couldn’t seem to jump into the conservation. He couldn’t seem to defend his moderate positions. Webb just was out-democrat by both Sanders and Clinton. I will give him props for being a Vietnam Veteran. Unfortunately like his campaign, his lackluster debate performance will probably end his run sooner rather than later.

Lincoln Chaffe was another candidate who participated in the debate. Came out strong attacking Clinton and her scandals. Chaffe was a bit a flip flopper have changing parties from Republican to Independent to Democratic. Chaffe is the former governor of Rhode Island and Senator. His voting record is a bit shaky. However, like Webb he just couldn’t get much air time. When he did get time, he certainly made it count. Unfortunately for him, I don’t think it was enough to boost his polls too much.

Martin O’Malley is the former governor of Maryland. He gave the strongest performance of these three candidates. He was able to use both Sanders, Clinton and others arguments to jump into the conversation. There are two issues that O’Malley pushed hard that I took issues with.  First, his strict gun control policy has some questionable results given the unrest in Baltimore.  Clearly, with the death of innocent black African Americans his gun control didn’t stop it. One has to wonder if a national strict gun policy would have the same results. The second issue was on immigration. He seem to take it a step further than any candidate. I’m not sure offering free college to illegal immigrants is a smart idea. Considering that American students have massive student loan debt. However, I wouldn’t be against the eventual naturalization of illegals and their receiving benefits. I think that O’Malley is definitely more similar to Hillary Clinton than Sanders. Not sure how this will affect his polling. But he may be a little too radically progressive for American voters. In addition, his low poll numbers suggest that he isn’t going to be catching up any time soon. I think his lack of national political experience will hurt him because in democratic field it seems that this is a requirement.  (The GOP seems to be more on political outsider candidate road, think Donald Trump and Ben Carson)

Onto the top two candidates leading the democratic polls:

Bernie Sanders is a senator from Vermont. Sanders had a very strong showing despite being attacked early and often. One of the questions that kept him on the defensive was his record on guns. I have mentioned this in previous posts that Sanders hails from Vermont a gun loving state. Sanders was able to say that he is changing his position after all the mass shooting. He also tried to frame it in the sense of “Urban vs. Rural” states. Noting that rural areas tend to have lax gun laws. O’Malley smartly shot him down on this narrative because of his record in Maryland. (Pun not Intended/ Notwithstanding the failures in Baltimore) Sanders was also successful pushing for the usual minimum wage hike and paid family leave. I think that the question in my mind, and many others is how will you pay for all these expensive actions. He did mention that he would put a tax on the rich hedge managers or something like that. The thing about Sanders is that his plans all sound great. The problem is where is all this money coming from? All the rich people are moving out already so I don’t think taxing them more will make them stay. Overall though, I thought that Bernie stuck to his platform pretty closely and was able to separate himself from Clinton. I have to believe that Sanders will keep building up his support.

Hillary Clinton is a former senator of New York and Secretary of State. Mrs. Clinton was able to stick it to everybody in this debate. She flatly denied the email scandal anymore attention than it had. Mr. Chaffe did throw a few jabs with his mention of no scandal. Clinton really stuck to her guns on foreign policy. Surprisingly she did make some sense by saying that a coalition to help in Syria was necessary. She was unapologetic about her decisions in the past. I could see that she was really trying to keep the focus on the issues and not her past. Unfortunately her past is so well known I think it played well for her. Clinton really pushed strong for rights and equality for women. However, Sanders also pushed hard. They both seem to think that smaller countries like Denmark and Norway were good models. The only problem is America is much larger in population. Once again, just like Sanders, Hillary could not answer how she might pay for anything. All I heard was increase taxes on rich.

Speaking of that, Republican bashing was Hillary’s leading role. Every opportunity that she got, she took to bash the republicans. Comparing the democratic debate as one that focused on issues instead of racism and women hating.  She was right about that. However, I feel like Clinton failed to really convince people that she won’t do the shady things of the past again. The mistrust of politicians is at an all time high. She is the poster child for bad politicians. This was brought out by the constant attack on her political flip flopping on issues. Anderson Cooper went directly for her saying any to get votes. I was not convince by her answers. Clinton seem to have strong performance by using other candidates positions to back her own. She was able to articulate many of her own positions because of the huge amount air time given to her. (Much to the dismay of Mr. Webb) I think that Clinton probably improved her polls by a few points. She’s a savvy politician.

Overall, I found the debate to be very interesting and more focused on the issues. This is also due to the smaller number of candidates. The stark contrast between republicans and democrats is that democrats are actually in agreement on what needs to be done. Where republicans can’t agree on where to even start. The democrats bashed each other much less than the republicans bashed each other. I knew from the get-go that republican bashing would happen. Not surprisingly it came from Clinton and Sanders the most.

Just before the debate started, I was watching the analyst on CNN talk about VP Joe Biden. Biden is considering a presidential run. The conversation was very interesting because it seem that some in the media were tired of waiting for him to decide. I found this to be very interesting. I was thinking about how the debate dynamics might have changed if Joe Biden did decide to run. I do believe that Biden would have significant impact in the democratic primary. Biden would almost certainly give Bernie Sanders a run for his money. He may even knock Sanders out of contention. The biggest challenger to Biden would be none other than Hillary Clinton. Biden is on par with Clinton in political experience and political clout. Not only that but he is a sitting Vice President. Clinton identifies closely with Obama. However, I think that Biden would be able to more effectively use Obama in his election run. Obama might even endorse him. (A running mate for 7 years in a row probably means they are great friends) Granted President Obama may not be the most popular president but he does have an influence unlike any other endorser. So will Joe Biden throw a wrench into the race?

Thanks for reading! More coming on this debate and future debates!

Advertisements

The Great Debate and Controversy!

Tomorrow is the first democratic debate on CNN at 8:30pm. I am excited to see what happens with this debate especially considering the two leading candidates will have a chance to go head to head. The debate will feature five candidates overall. I expect to see a lot of republican bashing and hard-line democratic agenda. I hope to see if a candidate especially Hillary and Bernie to distinguish themselves.

In addition to watching the debate, I will also being taking some notes and posting my thoughts on this blog. Of course, unless a candidate blows me away I doubt they can persuade my vote. However, I will try to objective judge each candidate based what I hear in their performance. I have detailed both Bernie and Hillary quite extensively. I have made posts about many of the issues on their platforms. Other than the debate coverage, I want to cover a few more topics in this posts. Among them, I want to the national holiday that falls on October 12th.

Columbus Day has annual holiday in October usually falling on the 12th. It has been a national holiday since 1971. However, according to Wikipedia there are some states that don’t recognize it. I always in the past had liked the holiday because I got a day off from school. Once I got to college I saw that the holiday was not so great. First, I read a book called “Lies my teacher told me” by James Loewen. I recommend reading it.  Its an absolutely amazing book about history and how it is taught in schools. There has always been controversy especially in Texas with the textbooks and whitewashing. If you are not familiar with whitewashing, it is basically the stripping of negatives in history teaching. In other words, its Americanism. The idea that America has never done wrong and always is right. Unfortunately, there is enough whitewashing to write a whole book on it!

One of the issues that Loewen covers and one of the most important and relevant issues is of Christopher Columbus.  Columbus was an Italian born sailor. After many unsuccessful tries to set sail and find treasure and fortune. Columbus finally was given a chance to sail across the Atlantic by the King of Portugal. The story goes that Columbus set sail with three ships, the Santa maria, Pinta and Nina. Columbus had a very long trip in which his crew endure tough Atlantic storms and alleged sea monsters! Finally he landed in the Bahamas. NOT IN AMERICA. The natives in the Bahamas greeted him without knowing what was coming. Columbus was by no means a nice visitor. In reality, he was pirate. He was sent by the King of Portugal to find gold. When he didn’t find any gold, he basically killed the natives. He raped their women. Columbus and his crew gave them diseases like smallpox. Columbus made many voyages across the Atlantic. One of other famous claims is that Columbus discover the earth wasn’t flat. This might be his only real accomplishment.

The Columbus represents what many historians believe was an accidental and later purposeful genocide of native peoples throughout the Americas. In North America alone, by the turn of the century in 1900, it is estimated that 95 percent of the Native Americans were wiped out. Well over half of those were through disease. The others were decimated by war.

American History textbooks tend to whitewash these facts. Everyone is taught that Columbus was a hero for discovering America. Unfortunately the truth is that Columbus was an asshole. He did nothing good for America. I think that its ridiculous that we celebrate a murder and a rapist. Americans are so brainwashed. Schools need to stop teaching this bullshit to kids. Teach them what really happened.

Surprisingly, there has been little movement to change this awful holiday. Yet the irony is that the word “redskin” is somehow racist. It doesn’t make much sense especially when many natives see the term as something that describes their culture. My question is How can Columbus be a hero yet a stupid mascot is racists? I mean isn’t there something missing here? Do I think that Washington Redskins should change their name? My answer is maybe. Maybe if they reach a settlement and pay some type of charity to help out Native Americans on reservations. If not then change it.  The Washington Redskins could at least raise awareness for the real Native Americans. Anything that shows that their not just racists. Even though all the money in the world can’t take back what happened its better than just ignoring it.

My point here is that students in schools should be educated on the reality of American History. History isn’t all great. America has done some pretty fucked up stuff. We might be a successful country but that comes with a costs. Its not just Native Americans that have been wronged. We have done wrong against almost every type of people from all origins. The combination of our manifest destiny and our democracy first mentality has led us to do some horrible things.

Some of my favorite quotes to end this post, is by Winston Churchill.

” If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.

“Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”

History is written by the victors.

Thanks for reading! Tune into the debate tomorrow!

Jeb Bush, The GOP neighborhood villain.

Jeb Bush has a name that invokes the remembrance of two former presidents. Jeb’s father is George H.W Bush who was elected in 1989 after Ronald Reagan finished up his second term. Jeb’s brother is George W. Bush who was elected in the controversial 2000 election that featured a miss count in Florida. Jeb was the governor of Florida for 8 years being elected in 1999. The Bush family was wealthy because of oil coming out of the north-west of Texas. Jeb is now running for president in 2016. He might have one of the hardest roads to travel on the way to being elected. The legacy left behind by his father and more importantly his brother George W. Bush is something that may haunt him for all his political life.

George H.W Bush served under many presidents during the 1960s and 1970s and in the 1980s under Reagan. He was elected to president finally in 1989. In 1990, trouble arose in Iraq with Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait. The ensuing invasion was quick and the situation resolved. Bush also tried to help with domestic issues like education and the economy but a slight slump gave him no success.  Bush Sr. then lost in 1993 to President Bill Clinton. After the Clinton’s two terms it was then George W. Bush’s term.  Bush Jr. was elected in 2000. His presidency already marred by a voting miss count was then derailed completely by 9/11. The chain of events that followed have changed America forever. First, an invasion of Afghanistan to root out the Taliban in control of that country. Second, an invasion of Iraq because the weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Both of these wars turned into a hunt for Osama Bin Laden. On the home front, Bush passed many security measures for airports and citizens alike. The patriot act was one of the controversial acts that still brings controversy over personal freedoms and rights.

The Bush Jr. presidency ended with the biggest economic recession since the Great Depression. All of this recent history makes up the legacy of the Bush family. Jeb Bush has this history following him everywhere. I believe that his critics are not completely fair to him. His name might be Bush but that does not always mean he wants to be exactly like his father or brother. Jeb is a known conservative in political leaning. Unlike his front-runner opponent, Mr. Trump, Jeb has been in politics and always a staunch republican. One recent article headlines “Donald Trump Dominates as Jeb Bush implodes.” The headline could not be more accurate. I want to explore how Jeb Bush might overcome his legacy associated with his name. Jeb has the same problem as democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as I point out here, but Jeb has a problem much worse. So in the next few paragraphs I will take one or two events from past and apply them to now.

Jeb Bush is so often criticized because of family name and because of his politics. One of the areas that Jeb has struggled with is foreign policy. All you have to do is google some news articles about this. Most of the recent ones from August talk about his foreign policy speech. The particularly interesting ones are here, here and here. The articles show that Jeb used a revisionist history. They all agree that Jeb has a misguided and wrong of view of what really happened. He blames Clinton and Obama for the mistakes made in reality by his brother. In order for Bush to overcome his family legacy he needs to change his views on past foreign policy. I believe that Jeb needs to just admit that Obama and Clinton made mistakes and did the best they could. He has no need to make them the villains. Jeb Bush has the appeal to most GOP voters which will could be a winning percentage for any GOP endorsed candidate.  After stepping back from his attack on the current administration, then he should start slowly talking about how he plans to help the situation with both ISIS and the wars. I would imagine a typical republican foreign policy would be a strong naval presence in the middle east. This combined with a resolution to UN for a coalition would probably be widely accepted. Jeb would be smart to ask for the help of other countries because acting unilaterally is a mistake Bush Jr. made.

Jeb should learn from the mistakes that his family made in the past. The front runner Donald Trump has bashed Jeb for many reasons, especially his bi-lingual ability. Jeb needs to come back at Trump. Trump has so much bad history that I am surprised Jeb hasn’t come out more viciously. Jeb has an advantage over Trump in respect to hispanic voters because of his connection to them. Trump is the king of insults for calling out Jeb for speaking Spanish is just dumb along with all his other racist comments on Mexico.  The fact is that America is going be more hispanic than white in just 10 to 20 years. The President who is elected in 2016 will surely see that hispanics will the the majority of the vote. No wall is going to stop border hoppers. I believe that Jeb needs to use bi-lingual and pro-hispanic background to rally voters. Many hispanics are hardworking and would more than likely vote for him if he could just stand up to Trump.

With Trump’s massive media storm bashing Jeb and his family legacy, Jeb is down in the polls. I believe that he is focused on the democrats when really his true foe is Trump. I don’t think that Jeb will win the republican primary. Unfortunately, he is in too deep with the speeches and comments made thus far. Jeb Bush has become the GOP villain because of his own doing it seems. However, his critics will always make his family legacy an issue. Jeb should really try to distance himself. I think possible to do without being disrespectful. The facts will always be true. Mistakes happen. The voters will have to decide if Jeb Bush is different his past presidential family line or if Jeb Bush will just follow in the footsteps.

Thanks for reading! September 11th/ 14 year anniversary article coming soon. Continue reading

The News Media Party

If you don’t know who Donald Trump is by now, you clearly have been living underneath a rock. Trump is like a wrecking ball in a china shop. I remember last election cycle when he tried to run for president, he never gained the momentum that he has now. Mitt Romney surpassed him despite making comments about the 47 percent and other nonsense. The whole point is that Trump seemingly came on the political scene this election on fire. He has thought about making presidential and governor bids in the past too but none like this.

Donald J. Trump is a political flip flopper. He has been a liberal, independent and republican. He is an unconventional business man filing for bankruptcy four times. He is a gambler. He is a hot head and extremely famous world-wide. I never watched his show apprentice but I heard it was entertaining.  Trump’s political ambitions are admirable and probably meant to do good. However his rhetoric is off the wall and his strategy is totally foreign to any political race I have witnessed in my life.

What strikes me about Trump’s political success (dare I call it that?) is how he is the front-runner in a party that is broken in many ways. Despite being the least likely candidate to have success, he has made himself a legitimate threat. I disagree on nearly all his views. Being a libertarian with conservative economic views and liberal social views, I almost never take an extreme view. Trump isn’t winning any etiquette awards. Despite all of his extremism and crazy rhetoric he has managed to build a lead over any other republican candidate. Polls have winning 25 percent of vote or more. However, Trump is still losing to Bernie Sanders from Vermont. After the first debate, I decided to read some articles about why Trump was so popular. What I found is that people who were interviewed said that he could be trusted. They even went so far to say that he has a regular guy type of feel. The irony is that Trump was born with a sliver spoon in his mouth and is nowhere close to a blue-collar worker. I remember in one article, a person basically said they didn’t exactly think he would be the greatest president but they felt that he meant what he said.

Is Trump’s crazy rhetoric really roping in voters because they can relate to him? Unfortunately, I believe that the answer is yes. HIs rhetoric might be crazy but I guess it speaks to the average American voter. I personally don’t think we need a business man in office. The problem is that businesses make profits. The government needs to make equal. Unless Trump can fit into his platform the promise that our national debt will disappear because of his superior business acumen then I don’t know if it’s the best fit for a president. The point being that his platform is not what really has him in the lead.

I believe Trump has been able to cash in on a different type of vote machine. A machine that Obama tapped during his runs. The media has been hijacked by Trump.  Especially the News Media, you turn on any news channel and you can find Trump. Obama was able to use social media to his advantage and it worked to his credit.  Trump is using the news media. Its been almost an overnight transition for him too. Just a few months ago there was only speculation about Trump running. Then in June he announced. The first debate has come and gone. Now it seems he is being supported and ripped apart by the media. It doesn’t seem to matter either. Trump has taken the old saying “No publicity is bad publicity” to a new level. Its outrageous.

Trump says he is a republican, but he literally hijacked the republican party into the News Media party. Instead of staying in line and taking the usual GOP stance, Trump has turned it upside down. HIs exchange with Megyn Kelly literally made him more popular than ever before. The problem with Trump’s hijacked republican party and News Media party is that its corrupting what politics is really about. The issues that are stake are being missed because the news media has taken his antics as way to get ratings. The news channels like fox news, cnn and others are all giving Trump their support. This normally would not work for a traditional candidate. Usually If a republican candidate does something crazy, cnn and msnbc will all over it, making him or her pay the price in support. Not Trump, he can literally say or do anything with little consequence. I hope this is not a sign of the future. Its evidence of many things wrong in politics. I think the biggest thing is that money has corrupted the whole process.

When you consider that a candidate needs at least a billion dollars to fundraise a campaign and that the media can just pick the winner and loser by their coverage. It makes politics more scary than ever. If Trump is able to win the primaries and there’s a good chance that he will; it should be a very interesting race. Bernie Sanders is also building some huge momentum. I will have a post on Bernie sometime. Thanks for reading!